One Texas woman will never get her day in court after she jumped to her death. Valerie McDaniel was on a $50,000 bond for solicitation of murder at the time of her death. She allegedly conspired with her boyfriend to hire a hit man in order to murder her ex husband.
McDaniel and her ex husband, Marion “Mack” McDaniel, divorced after 17 years of marriage. The two agreed to share joint custody of their 9-year-old daughter. However, Valerie McDaniel was reportedly unhappy because of what she claimed was Marion McDaniel’s threats to take full custody of the child. McDaniel was also in a financial bind, because her divorce judgment required her to pay more than a million dollars to buy her ex husband out of the veterinary clinic that they shared.
McDaniel jumped to her death from her seventh-story balcony. She lived with her boyfriend in a two-bedroom condo in the upscale Houston neighborhood of Oak Park. McDaniel also had a beach house where she enjoyed weekend getaways and visits with friends.
Shortly after her divorce, McDaniel met Leon Jacob. Jacob had a criminal history. McDaniel’s friends describe Jacob as arrogant. They said that they got a bad feeling about Jacob from the start.
The plot first began when state officials charged Jacob with stalking an ex girlfriend. While Jacob awaited trial on the stalking charges, he decided to hire someone to murder his ex girlfriend. He paid a man named Zach with $5,000, watches and a laptop in exchange for carrying out the crime. Instead of doing the deed, Zach took the payment and ran. He later worked with the police in order to gather evidence to charge Jacob with solicitation.
That’s where the plot took an interesting twist. Jacob and McDaniel told undercover officers that they wanted to kill McDaniel’s ex husband too. McDaniel agreed to pay an extra $10,000 for the hit on her ex husband. Authorities then went to McDaniel and told her that her ex husband was found dead. In reality, the ex husband was around the corner, waiting to take custody of their child as McDaniel was arrested.
Although McDaniel will never face trial for her actions, Jacob sits in the Harris County Jail awaiting trial. The court denied him bond. They also refused to allow him out of jail to attend McDaniel’s funeral. Jacob denies the charges against him. He says that law enforcement entrapped him.